Researchers are now questioning if nicotine could prevent the immune system from overreacting to the virus as there is evidence that shows that fraction of smokers infected from coronavirus is lower than the general population. Doctors in Paris are planning to give nicotine patch to coronavirus patients as there are low rates of smokers amongst the infected patients.
According to Daily Mail, doctors will also give nicotine patches to frontline workers to see if it helps them to prevent the spread of virus. China reported that only 6.5 percent of coronavirus patients were smokers out of 26.6 percent of the population who got diagnosed. Similarly, Centers for Disease Control in the US found out just 1.3 percent of the hospitalized patients were smokers out of 14 percent of the American population who got diagnosed.
French researchers performed a study at Pitié Salpêtrière that is part of Hôpitaux de Paris. Their study is based on data collected from 480 patients tested positive for the virus. Out of that, 350 patients were hospitalized and only 4.4 percent were regular smokers with average age of 65. Out of people who did not hospitalize 5.3 percent were smokers with an average age of 44.
Researchers do not back anyone should start smoking
Even so, the team does not advise people to start smoking because cigarettes are dangerous for health. "One should not forget that nicotine is a drug of abuse responsible for smoking addiction. Smoking has severe pathological consequences and remains a serious danger for health," they say.
Researchers determined that very few smokers reported to test positive of the virus by comparing 40 percent of the general population smokes with a median age of 44 to 53. "Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop asymptomatic or severe infection with Sars-CoV-2 compared with the general population," the study reads.
They say that risk gets significantly divided into coronavirus patients who smoke which is rarely observed in other medicines. Researchers are trying to establish the hypothesis by giving nicotine patches to COVID-19 patients in intensive care and frontline workers.
Another French study from Université Pierre et Marie Curie states that just 8.5 percent of 11,000 admitted patients were smokers as compared to 25.4 percent of the nation's population. Although, Food and Drug Administration in the United States claims that cigarettes can increase the risk of infection or disease.